In the Christian world broken isn't exactly highlighted or a general topic of conversation. Brokenness is messy, loud- angry even. Its also beautiful. The reason brokenness is beautiful is because of how God can use it in our lives. It is not lovely in and of itself, it is not the end of the journey, and it is certainly not a cute hashtag to attach to a selfie.` It’s not a word to use when you want to feel “authentic”. Standing alone, it is blotched and sad. But the beauty in spiritual brokenness is found in where it brings us. To our Father.
Growth is uncomfortable because you've never been here before.
You've never been or seen this version of yourself before.
So give yourself a little grace and take some deep breaths through it.
Brokenness. It can mean a lot of things. It may imply messiness and imperfection, possibly heartbreak. It may mean physical weakness. And for some, it’s a reason to demand pity. For others, it’s motivation to stay “true to themselves” in their flawed humanity and not attempt to appear all put together in a nice, neat, picture perfect package. For others it’s a cool word- a trend so to speak. There’s a lot we could talk about in regards to the meaning of brokenness. In todays world something that is broken is without value. As humans we generally try to avoid conditions of brokenness with our finances, our emotions, and our relationships with others. But carefully note that there is a large contrast here between the will of God and the will of man. The world despises broken people, but God takes pleasure in using broken things. In fact, God asks that we be broken before He can even begin to use us. We must come to the end of ourselves in order to come to Christ. There are a few things that are improved by being broken, though the experience is not pleasant by any means- saints and sinners are two of those things. We must be broken if we are going to become usable. Brokenness brings you closer to God. In fact, He is repulsed by pride, but impressed by and attracted to brokenness. The one thing He tells us He looks for in mankind is a crushed spirit. Brokenness make us useful to God. A person who is not broken is a danger to themselves and to God's people, because they are self-satisfied, confident, certain of their ways, and unwilling to admit their dependence upon God.
God resists the proud, but draws near to the humble.
Brokenness helps you become sensitive and aware to God. A person who is wrapped up in ones self does not feel the need to stop and listen to God. This person thinks they already have it all figured out. A person who is broken is more likely to spend time listening to God. In a crisis, all of those Christian clichés suddenly come to life. When the events of tomorrow are really uncertain, the sovereignty of God takes on a whole new meaning. God suddenly has to be in control. Romans 8:28 is always in the Bible, yet when the floor falls out from under us this truth suddenly takes on a deeper meaning. The emphatic statement that all things work together for good does not mean that all things are good. It means that God is able to take all things and weave them together in such a way that the end result is good. Though this path may not be pleasant, He assures us that we will come to a point where we realize He has been in control every step of the way. We veer off course when we try to take over, so God brings along crushing circumstances that cause us to look to Him. The closer you get to God, the more responsibility you are given by God, the more you will be forced to depend on God. There are many examples of men and women in the Bible who experienced times of deep despair while serving God faithfully. The greatest benefit of being broken is that it makes us more like Jesus. There is no better example of brokenness than the very Son of God on the cross, in the garden, betrayed, beaten, bloodied, and brutally treated by the men He created.
When we are broken, we are exhibiting a manifest token of His suffering.
God uses many different tools in this process. One of the quickest ways to get our attention is through our senses or the way we feel. We have a constant and natural need to feel good. God often uses infirmities to make us realize something is wrong. We also have this human desire to have it all together and God sometimes needs to put a signpost in front of us that says 'you really don't'. "You desperately need me in ways you can hardly imagine". God wants us to constantly be brought to that realization. Human failure is another tool He uses. In Psalm 51 we read about this tool being used in David's life. God's intention in breaking us is not to destroy us, but rather to put us back together according to His plan. God also uses relationships, an aspect of life where we are perhaps most vulnerable, to get our attention. We can be crushed through rejection, betrayal, or abuse, leaving us feeling as if our world has fallen apart. God uses these avenues in our life to speak truth, to inject reality, and to draw us to Him. We read that David's failures were not the only means God used to crush him. Sometimes God's crushings are elongated and sometimes they are immediate. Sometimes they are quite apart from your own behavior, as we see in the lives of Job and Jeremiah, yet we see that God's hand was clearly in the situation in both men's lives. When we see that God demands that His best friends be broken, we may ask ourselves if we really want to be close to God because bad things happen around there. If we are wise, we would not run from brokenness, but instead run to it. Recognizing that this is where God's work gets done and growth starts. God requires us to be humble, and broken. This stands in contrast to proud, and hardhearted. There are numerous books out there that tell us how to become proud, superior, and hardhearted, but the Bible tells us how to become humble, and broken. God operates on a different value system than we have become accustomed to. God operates far above our mundane, human need system. He is more interested in our eternal character. There are several examples in the Bible of what happens to individuals who refuse to be broken. Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, and others were talented men who said no to God. Pharaoh was destroyed by this and Nebuchadnezzar went through terrible distress before he finally got the message. We have a choice whether or not to accept the crushing circumstances that God allows to be brought into our lives without demanding an explanation, without stomping our feet or asking why, and with a submissive heart that simply says Yes Lord. Know that the God to whom we give our allegiance has yet to make His first mistake. There has never been a crisis in Heaven. What is it in your life that you think has put God over the edge? Brokenness can be beautiful in your life in several ways. Realize that some of the changes God intends to make in your life can only happen under these conditions. Like a diamond, we must go through incredible pressure, cleansing, and refining. At the moment of salvation you stepped out of the darkness and into His marvelous light. This is compared to the formation of the diamond. Now the refining process, the process where God begins to work on you. We should be careful not to harden our heart to this. Crushing circumstances are part of His recipe for refinement, so do not try to change it. Real and lasting change is a result of these types of circumstances. God wants to change your heart. The world tries to begin change from the outside by use of willpower, but God is interested in change on the inside, a change of the heart. Behavior changes when your heart changes. Relationships and priorities will change when God gets hold of your value system. Willpower will fail us, but God will not. The church is the Christian's classroom and the rest of life is the lab, where you practically apply the theory you have learned in the classroom. It is not God's intention that we never leave the classroom, but that we go out into the world. We are to praise God in the midst of crushing circumstances. Don't waste your sorrows, don't run from breaking circumstances, but be still and know that He is God. There are times when we would rather do the wrong thing than nothing, just so we can be doing something. At these times we need to be still and let our trust be transformed into our actions. Let Him work it out and take care of it. Don't waste these times, try to change them, or even try to shorten them. Let God work through it. He will let us know when the trial is over.
God is pleased by our broken sacrifices. He knows what's best for us. Believe this, trust in this, and make your decisions based on this. Intellectual ascent is not faithful obedience. Don't let this message become irrelevant. God is not the author of confusion, but instead the author of all human promotion. Come to Him in humility and with your brokenness as this is pleasing and useful to Him.
Songs of the Blog: Jireh- Elevation Worship // Psalm 136 (Your Mercy Endures)- Greg LaFollette